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  • Author: Céline Bak
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the way to Washington, DC, for a September 2015 visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping stopped in Seattle, WA, to sign an agreement aimed at combatting climate change by increasing the business ties between Chinese and US clean technology companies (South China News 2015). Five US states signed the agreement on commerce between China and clean-tech businesses from California, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. On the same day, Bill Gates’s energy company, TerraPower, signed an agreement with the China National Nuclear Corporation for joint cooperation on next-generation renewable and fusion nuclear power. In early 2015, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund invested in General Fusion, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, to advance its energy innovation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Alexandre Catta, Aladdin Diakun, Clara Yoon
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Mainstream analysis on China tends to be overly optimistic, leaving a blind spot in strategic planning. While the country's socio-economic landscape has been transformed over several decades of uninterrupted growth, it faces significant domestic and international risks and constraints. Chief among these are labour insecurity and imbalances, environmental constraints and rising climatic risks, and food insecurity, all coupled with rising popular expectations for a higher overall standard of living. Major soy producers (Argentina, Brazil and the United States) should take steps to ensure the stability of China's supply. In particular, these countries should set aside reserves to help mitigate future supply shocks and price spikes resulting from climate change. Manufacturers operating in or with China should immediately begin mapping their supply chains to identify vulnerabilities associated with crisis scenarios in the country. Where specific risks are identified, they should explore supply-chain diversification to boost resilience among major trading partners. To deter China from externalizing internal stresses, international actors should raise the political costs of nationalistic unilateralism by opening more channels for dialogue, deepening institutional integration and buttressing cooperative security norms.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: James Manicom, John Higginbotham, Andrea Charron
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The shrinking Arctic ice cap is creating unprecedented geophysical change in the circumpolar region, a trend that is very likely to continue. Together, this “great melt” and the delineation of extended national economic zones afford increased access to economic resources in the Arctic Ocean. Intense activities in commercial, investment, diplomatic, legal, scientific and academic sectors abound in the new Arctic, but the region's long-term significance is only gradually penetrating North American public consciousness. Media reports such as the recent, virtually ice-free trans-polar transit of a Chinese icebreaker through the Russian Northern Sea Route, or the transit of the Northwest Passage by a large cruise ship, are only the tip of the proverbial economic iceberg. In preparing for the commercialization of the Arctic Ocean, Canada and the United States, as major nations bordering the Arctic, face enormous opportunities in protecting economic and environmental interests; however, a number of challenges impede the fulfillment of this vision.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Canada, North America
  • Author: John Whalley, Sean Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The United Nations climate change negotiations currently underway and now seemingly likely to conclude only six to 12 months after the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hosted meeting at Copenhagen in December 2009, are beset by a series of obstacles, the most fundamental of which reflect the North-South divide, largely between the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD economies. In this brief we argue that movement across this divide is the single most important element in a successful conclusion to the negotiation. Current obstacles reflect asymmetries between developing and developed countries both in terms of growth in carbon emissions — and hence the costs of reducing emissions proportionately relative to some base date level, but also in terms of historical emissions as a source of damage. These are compounded by the imprecision of the negotiating mandate — a lack of a clear definition of the basic principles involved, particularly in the case of the original UNFCCC principle of common yet differentiated responsibilities, which accepts but does not clearly delineate differentiated responsibilities for developing and developed countries on climate change. Significant movement in the negotiating position of either side (or both) is likely a necessity for a climate deal to be reached even in post-Copenhagen negotiations. However, the recent unilateral commitment by China to reduce emissions by 40-45 percent per unit of GDP from a 2005 base year by 2020 is a positive first step.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Treaties and Agreements, Third World
  • Political Geography: China, United Nations